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March 9, 2011

Meet Thomas McGaughey - LSU's Special Teams Coordinator

When I found out that Thomas McGaughey, New York Giants assistant special teams coach, had been hired to take over the vacant LSU Special Teams Coordinator position, I had mixed emotions.  After a little research, the only mixed emotions I have left are excitement and joy.  

Two items that concerned me initially were the lack of N.Y. Giants Special Teams' success and the possibility that a N.Y. Giants coach may have very little familiarity with recruiting typical geographical areas where LSU recruits.  The New York Giants ranked 31st in the NFL in kick returns this year and last in the NFL punt returns.  When I read these facts in a New Jersey Star-Ledger article, I thought "uh-oh, LSU is going to really miss Patrick Peterson even more now."   I also had that lingering question of how an assistant special teams coach from New York City would fair recruiting Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia and the rest of the South where LSU gets its fair share of great players.  

But, next I ran across McGaughey's Bio still hanging around on the University of Houston website and my concerns were addressed.  McGaughey, who is 37 years old, has been coaching since 1998.  In addition to his experience with the Giants, McGaughey has experience as a special teams coach in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2002-2003 and with the Denver Broncos in 2005-2006.  McGaughey's stint with the New York Giants began in 2007.  If I am a high school recruit or a current LSU player with NFL dreams, I want a coach that has recent NFL experience.  McGaughey has NFL connections and more importantly, he knows what it takes to compete in the NFL.  

I still would have liked for McGaughey to have had more success with the Giants.  The good news for LSU's special teams is that McGaughey got a shot at the NFL because of his success as a Special Teams Coordinator at the University of Houston from 2003-2004.
According to his UH Bio, McGaughey's special teams boasted "a Top 20 kickoff returner (Ricky Wilson, 17th, 26.1 ypr.) and Top 50 punter (Jimmy McClary, 43rd, 42.0 ypc.), kicker (Dustin Bell, 45th, 1.08 field goals/game) and punt returner (Chad McCullar, 46th, 10.1 ypr.) Bell finished the season with a perfect 56-of-56 on extra points and nailed 14 of 19 field goal attempts."    That's not too shabby considering his short time as University of Houston's Special Teams Coordinator.

McGaughey has some other experiences that may prove valuable to LSU.  He played defensive back in college and in the NFL, ran track in college, and has served as a strength and conditioning coach.  

There are signs also that McGaughey may be a real asset when it comes to recruiting.  He played college ball at University of Houston, coached high school ball in Texas at Willowridge High School, and served as a pro scouting assistant for the NFL Houston Texans.  While LSU already recruits well in the Lone Star state, this couldn't hurt.

I think Coach Miles has made another strong hire and it looks like a strong Tiger coaching staff has just gotten stronger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am very convenience that Les Miles is running his coaching staff very privately...Miles was not happy with the way the LSU special teams broke down in last last LSU football season...So he hired this coach.
I hope the new coach does better.

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